God, through this lesson will take us on a wonderful journey and reveal to us the importance that lies within this 4th step to salvation.
Now that we understand the purpose of Baptism it is time for us to dig a little deeper and find out some baptism history.
As I mentioned in the previous lesson, Baptism did not originate in the New Testament as a 'new' requirement for all Christian believers. Instead, this has been one of God's stipulation from as far back as Genesis.
We will begin by discussing the earliest example of Baptism: it began with Noah.
1 Peter 3:20-21
"... God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was preparing,
wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved
by water. The like figure( representation) whereunto even baptism
doth also save us..."
By faith Noah built that ark of protection but only eight souls passed through the water and came out safely. Everyone else perished. This means then that because the flood was symbolic to baptism, we too must also pass through the water to be saved.
There was no escaping the water for Noah and his family, and the same applies for us as believers.
There is no escaping this 4th salvation requirement.
But God has promised, like as he did for Noah, he will save us by water and we will come out renewed.
The next pattern of baptism was the Children of Israel and the red sea.
Do you remember the story of the Red Sea? That was one of the most awesome-est ( my new made up word) miracles ever done, proving to all who believe, that there is truly nothing impossible with our God.
Israel was trapped. A sea before them and the enemy behind them, but God made a way by parting the red sea and the Children of Israel walked straight through on dry land.
Imagine, our God did such a notable miracle that the ground that they were walking on was 'DRY!' No water at all was in it! Now that right there is a Mighty God!
Now listen to what Paul said:
Paul is saying to us that when this happened and the Israelites walked through the Red Sea that it was a symbol of baptism.
But Paul did not stop there. Remember the pillar of cloud that went with them by day? That was also symbolic of Baptism too.
But why should the cloud be symbolic of Baptism if they were all baptized by the Red Sea?
The answer is simply. Many people died during the 40 years when Israel was in the wilderness. And as many people died, many persons were also BORN in the wilderness. So then, those that were born in the wilderness also had their baptismal experience! Everyone was baptized! None escaped!
Do you see how important Baptism is to God?
We are going back to the pattern of the Tabernacle that was given to Moses by God. There we will also see, again, the importance of baptism:
The Laver of water, which signifies cleansing, sanctification and baptism, was a brass vessel that was placed in the outer court. The priests would wash themselves, after the sacrificing of the animals, before entering into the inner court ( or the Tabernacle) which we now call the sanctuary.
This was a law set forth by God. The water represented the washing away of filth or of one’s sins. Now you can see the importance of Baptism. Paul expressed this by saying
Hebrews 10: 19, 22
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest
by the blood of Jesus... Let us draw near with a true heart
in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled
from an evil conscience and our bodies
washed with water.
Paul, in Hebrews, was making reference to the Old Testament and the pattern that was set forth by God. The pattern laid out in the Tabernacle was actually symbolic of what would take place in our lives as believers.
So, as the priests washed themselves in the laver, so likewise, must we who are, priests unto God, be washed by baptism before having access to minister before him.
Now John, the forerunner of Jesus Christ, understood the importance of baptism and also continued this step by baptizing all those that believed on his preaching, on the Baptism of Repentance. Paul said in
... John verily baptized with the baptism
of repentance, saying unto the people, that
they should believe on him which should
come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus
God, through this baptism history lesson have taken us on a wonderful journey and revealed to us the importance that lies within this 4th step to Salvation.
I pray that your hearts were richly blessed as God continue to open the eyes of your understanding to his word.
Now that we have learn all about baptism history, let's go on to Lesson 3 to answer the question of where Jesus Christ was baptized.
There is a surprise waiting ahead!
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